The Brief History of the becoming of Karen New Year
Today, our, Karen Nation is reaching to 2750 New Year. Let us leave bad mood and attitude with the old year. The entire Karen Nation let us be new born and welcome our holy Karen New Year with unity and love.
I would like to present briefly about how Karen New Year has become. At first the Karen people lived in Tibet, China and then they came to settle down to organized group to from village, town and country. So Karen people lived spread out in Myanmar. It can be studied in the Karen History that the last Karen people came to settle down to Myanmar by BC 739.
Therefore, if it is counted since BC 739 until the present time 2010, the Karen people have been living in Myanmar for 2750 years. On the early days, Karen people celebrated Karen New Year Festival differently according to the place where they lived and the group who were organized. Although Karen people restrained and accepted inheritance from their for parents, Kaut Thit Sar Pwe, it was celebrated differently time and places.
Therefore, in 1937(by the time British ruled Myanmar), the Karen leader asked British Government to offer Karen National Day. The British Government replied that instead of asking for Karen National Day, it was better request for admitting of Karen New Year as legally public holiday. The Karen leaders from various place negotiated in order to be able to recognize Karen New Year day. It was seen in the history that Karen people accepted New Year day based on their beliefs and religious. Karen people who believed in Buddhism recognized Burmese month called (Pyar Tho) 1st as New Year and celebrated it as Karen new year day while the Karen whose religion is Christianity celebrated their karen new year on the 1st of January . Besides, those who believe in Ta La Ku (Hermit-Buddhism) acknowledged on the first Ta Bong full moon as New Year (Kaut Thit Sar Pwe) .
As Karen people moved to live in greener pastures (choosing better places for survival),living standard , living places, era, and belief of the Karen have been changed accordingly. Therefore, it was very hard to accept the exact date of Karen New Year. In calenter, it said that Pyar Tho La San Ta Yeh or Tha Lay Lar Taw Ta Thaw is the first month of the Karen and it also said that Karen Hs twelve months. According to information and evidences found by Karen Leaders proved that Pyar Tho or Tha Lay Lah is the month to celebrate Karen National day. Pyar Tho is full of graces, glory and honor on the first day of every Pyar Tho month, Karen leaders presented to confirm Karen New Year to parliament.
Although Karen leaders presented the case of Karen New Year, it was not easy to be recognized Karen new year as a public holiday. While presenting the case to the parliament, the change had occurred within British government .It was not sure whether the Karen New Year day would be acknowledge or not. Karen leaders continued to present the case to lower house of government and British government finally confirmed it.
Since first February 1939, 1st Phar Tho Kaw Zar Year 1299 has been recognized as Karen New Year. So, public holiday had been celebrated every year. This is how Karen New Year has become for Karen people. Therefore, Karen new that belongs to all Karen people was not easily given, Karen leaders had tried extremely hard in order to get New Year day. At last, by the strong desire and wiliness and of Karen people break the ignorance of those who have to consider about Karen New Year.
Dear all Karen creeper or Lineage, it is our responsibility to look after our traditions that past by our ancestors. Conclusively, as Karen New Year is a holy and great day for Karen people, let us celebrate it every year with respect, praise, unity and love.
May God bless our Karen New Year along with all Karen this year, next year and forever.
December 10, 2010
Executive Committee (Bangkok)
O K R S O